Skip to main content

Antependium

ANTEPENDIUM

A piece of precious material, richly ornamented, that was historically used to cover the entire front of an altar. The use of the antependium is probably derived from the practice of the early Church of covering the table-altar with a colored fabric. The antependium became an element in the decoration of the altar from the 4th century in the East and the 5th in the West. It used to be prescribed by a rubric of the Roman Missal, but the 1960 revision of the Code of Rubrics dropped all references to it in dealing with the preparation of the altar for Mass (526). Until the 13th century the color for the antependium was not determined, but since then it was fixed as the liturgical color of the day. There were two exceptions to this rule: at an altar where the Blessed Sacrament was exposed the frontal was to be white; for a Requiem Mass at an altar where the Blessed Sacrament was reserved the frontal was to be violet.

Bibliography: j. b. o'connell, Church Building and Furnishing (Notre Dame, IN 1955) 192196. j. braun, I Paramenti sacri, tr. g. alliod (Turin 1914) 171176. p. radÓ, Enchiridion liturgicum, 2 v. (Rome 1961) 2:1410.

[j. b. o'connell/eds.]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Antependium." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Antependium." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/antependium

"Antependium." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/antependium

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.